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I've been POA for finance and health for my parent for almost 2 years. It's a hard enough job, but one I was fine to do because I love my parent. However, it's been pure hell dealing with my parent's 3 children from an earlier marriage and who live in another country, who, despite being largely absent for decades, have come out of the woodwork after our parent was widowed and are now trying to revoke my POA in court and appoint a 3rd party guardian (they can't serve since they don't live in the country). They claim they are trying to "protect" our parent, who finds that utterly ridiculous because of our close, loving and trusting relationship and because I do everything to help him.


Anyone who knows me and my parent knows I've been caring for them for years and that we have a very close and loving relationship. My parent, who has mild dementia but who needs lots of help, wants me to remain the person in charge. The 1/2 siblings are bankrupting our parent in court and bankrupting my spirit. I can't think of anything else, have lost work and am basically in despair. I did not sign up to deal with them and they are totally unreasonable, demanding, and do NOTHING to help. In fact, they even want our parent to pay their legal fees in addition to their own!


I'm at my wits end and don't know where to turn. I am sick and tired of the months long court process which sucks my time and parent's money. I want desperately for it to end and to walk away, but I can't leave my parent unattended. What should I do? I have reached poverty level and have had to almost abandon my career and husband because of the time and energy this has taken, and I've become severely depressed and have to take meds to be able to sleep. I don't want my parent to become a ward of the state, and there is not a lot of money -- once the lawyers are paid there will be virtually none depending how long this continues.


I've tried to "settle" with the 1/2 sibs but I can't and won't meet their unreasonable requests which are super detailed and would require hours more of my time every week -- time I don't have especially as I do not work for them.


Any advice is welcome!

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The first thing you need to do is go see a doctor about your health. The second, and most important thing, is talk to a really good elder law attorney. Block any and all communications from the 1/2 sibs. What they're doing can be considered elder abuse. Sue them for emotional distress, elder abuse and exploitation as they are doing exactly that. Then get a live in caregiver or pt caregiver from an agency to help out. A good attorney will see right thru their game and make it clear that they need to BACK OFF....NOW. In the U.S. any court judge who sees this circus act will quickly make it known that these sibs don't have the right to undermine your ability, per your loved one, to act on their behalf. Doing so puts them in the limelight and not in a good way. Standing up for your father and yourself is the best thing you can do. The next time they try to make contact, give them your attorney's phone number and let the attorney deal with your sibs. Good luck!
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Yes it is all about the money or your supposed misuse of money that they are after never mind it wasn’t theirs ever or at least until the parent passes away
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And then only if the parent wishes them to have it.
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Talk to your attorney about a counter suit while you are already in court.

This is crap behavior and if they have to pay for all of it maybe they will stop. One thing I know for a certainty, unless they win, they can not get the other party to pay their expenses.

You can sue for expenses, pain and suffering, vulnerable adult abuse, claim financial exploitation of a vulnerable senior. Your attorney can probably list a dozen things, but get it done and filed so it can all go on at the same time in court, your attorney can request that.

How do they think your dad is going to live if they blow all his money in court, are they trying to take him back to their country. What is their purpose in doing this? Is this all of yous dad and you had a different mom? could it be punishment because he left them and had a new family?
I am trying to understand because it makes no sense what they are doing.
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sunbrooke Mar 2019
Yes isthisrealyreal, I believe they don't care if they bankrupt him since it will be an excuse to get him back to their country, where they can benefit from his monthly income and art archive. They don't have any concept that it is a full time + job to care for him. His one wish is to stay in his home in the US, which I have done everything to achieve for him -- despite their calling APS twice and finding nothing wrong, despite their coming to town and putting his house on the market without his understanding what was happening (I had to cancel the contract), despite their calling in an attorney to get him to revoke my POA and then him refusing and their demanding he pay their attorney fees, the list goes on and on. Yes we had different mom's. Yes it's probably punishment because he left them and moved to a different country and had a new family. They want control and money since he has given them none and put me in charge. They don't know me and hardly know him.
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The Judge should be aware that this is draining your parent financially. That these "children" have not been in parents life.
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Immediately seek out the best elder care attorney you can possibly find. Get the attorney if possible to prepare some kind of a legal document that your parent wants YOU to be the power of attorney. Do not, repeat, do not turn this over to them. And do not under any circumstances pay them a cent for anything, nor take the money from your parent - that is like admitting they are right. What exactly is it they are after? Is there a large amount of money involved and they want their share? Can you afford a care taker so you can have some recuperative time? Or would it be best to place the parent in a facility? If the parent needs help and you are physically and mentally no longer able to do this without greatly harming yourself, this is what you may have to do. Do not argue or try to negotiate with these people - any attempts will be futile. You must have a professional working on your side. Also contact the Office on Aging in your county for advice. Please stay clear of them - keep contacts to a zero level for your own protection. It is the only way.
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I am also POA for my father and legal guardian of my "special needs" sister. I have found that no matter what you can not please everybody. You need to get an elder lawyer and let them handle things. Don't do this alone. I know what toll this is taking on you. DO NOT let this ruin your health and marriage. I am sure your dad wants you to be happy. Don't give in to those that have not been around for years.
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How is the "court" allowing this to continue? I am appalled. If you were appointed POA, I don't really understand how any of this is going on. I am so sorry for you. As others have said, get a really good elder attorney who can put a stop to this immediately. Your health is paramount. Get some help. Wishing you the best.
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I have POA OF MY SISTER OVER HEALTH & finance!
She has alzhiemers!
I have joint account with her on her bank account !There for
I contol her money!!
Her biological son came into her life & borrowed $6000:
the very week her hubby died & gave her post dated checks
which bounced ( so she thought) He actually put stop payment ! He then re issued new checks & did the very same thing! He also changed her will saying he & wife got everything! Fortunately the insurance company caught it
right away & my sister had to go to the lawyer & have the original will put back in place costing her a couple of hundred dollars!That was 7 years ago now & I have placed her in a nursing home! I emptied her house & gave the house
back to the bank - she had a reverse morgage on it!
No one else can touch her bank account now!
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A lot of good answers here. I would do precisely as Riley2166 has recommended. I would also recommend that you figure out a way to take a vacation (does not have to be far away or expensive) or a three-day weekend at the least and recharge your “batteries” very very soon. And, Riley2166’s suggestion about not speaking with the 1/2 siblings is good advice. Once you have your attorney in place, make one last comment to them giving them your attorney’s name and contact information and tell them that all discussions on the matter must ONLY go through your attorney, and that you will not be responding directly. Make sure the attorney is OK with this. Your life and that of your husband’s is just as important as your parent, do not let all of this harm your marriage. So, be strong. Best wishes.
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All I can say is "WOW", some people have a lot of nerve!
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The court will see that you are the reliable one.
You shouldn't be communicating AT ALL with the 1/2 siblings. Just let them go. I do hope your attorney specializes in elder law. It's important.
I know this is totally crazy for you, yet hold on. As soon as this is over, things will become lighter for the two of you.
I would hire a sitter (if he can't be alone) so you can go off for a couple of hours--walks in Nature, maybe a massage, meet a friend for coffee, go window shopping...anything that interests you. That will relieve some pressure you're feeling now.
Self-care is equally important to your parent's care. Make sure you're doing it.
Let us know how it goes...all the best to you!!!
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Hitting them with a countersuit will just cost OP more money in atty fees. She  would probably be unable to collect legal fees from another country, even if she won. So I am not sure if these are answering the question of how can she get out from under this. I don't have an answer though. It just seems like trying to further complicate the court situation will not necessarily help.  Trying to block them, though, sounds like a good idea. Maybe she could put all of his accounts in her name, which would just leave the retirement income. It might sadden him, but maybe she could sell the art archives put that in a separate Trust. You are right about talking to an attorney though. Just thoughts.
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Simple answer is go to an ELDER LAW ATTORNEY and tell him/her that you, personally, are out of money and ask what your legal options are. You can opt out of being the POA but sounds like you don’t want to do that. I went to one 4 times. It cost $175.00 each trip and it was worth every penny.
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This is so horrible. I do understand. I have similar problems. My advice, based on what I’ve learned from being in it myself, is to hire an elder law attorney, help your parent create an asset protection trust, appoint you Trustee, Financial POA, and health care POA as part of the Trust, and then you won’t have to answer to anyone. A Trustee does not have to share the details of their transactions, etc. You would answer only to your parent and/or the attorney. You could then direct them to your parents’ attorney with their demands and issues or ask the attorney to deal with them. Our elder law attorney charged for establishing the Trust, and after the first year, charges a flat yearly fee of about $1,700 to do whatever we need. My sibs have been awful. They do nothing to help but attempt to undermine me all the time because I have control. I try not to involve the attorney as much as possible but on occasion I have called and discussed this situation or that. I’ve gotten a range of things - advice, direction, direct help, and been connected to resources. In a couple of instances the attorney had a sib call him with their questions and he defined reality for them pointing out that they were not acting in my parents best interest. I strongly urge you to get a Trust done if your parent doesn’t have that, and if they do, to find an attorney who will act as a buffer between you and these “people”.
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There may be another responsible 'service' that can hire/or your dad can appoint- A Fiduciary. They are legally bound, and specially trained to act as "everything" have POA, se to end of life or media care for an incompetent/ill person, they take over bill paying when needed, can sell the house/possessions, etc and be sure WHO gets what. Since I am an older woman with NO family (even friends are older/less able than me) I am hiring one as my will is prepared. they communicate with my lawyer, an when the time comes can provide these serve es needed, with no interference allowed by sneaky relatives. I am in CA but they may be in your state oo. first go to the site I know, then search for the same where you are, it is a newer legal service, BOUND to protect the wished of the person/their family BY LAW and under directive. www.fiduciary.ca.gov (try putting in your state to see who is available, only a 100 or so in CA so far but it it growing nationwide as MANY Boomers & over, and even younger people don't having living family/or trustworthy family as they age. good luck. (you do have to have a certain amount (for their fees) to cover the level of care needed. they also work with your CPA and other people to facilitate your wishes.
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Please act soon. Mention the fiduciary idea to an elder law attorney and compare it with his/her other suggestions. It's a shame good people are put through such duress.
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One word here-Lawyer. Now.
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sunbrooke Mar 2019
I have a lawyer and have been in court since October. Trying to end the case...having a lawyer doesn't solve the issue of a court system that drags everything out until your parent is bankrupt as the lawyers laugh all the way to the bank.
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So sorry you are going through this. I have a similar situation with a brother, but have two other siblings to support me. I have often wanted to throw in the POA/guardian towel, but so far count on short respites to recover until my brother thinks of the next ridiculous think. Best of luck. I really don't have any advice; just empathy. Going through court is the worse experience. We did that on two occasions and hope to never do it again.
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Never never never give up POA! You will regret it to try to get it back. My friends have been in court to get theirs back $60,000 later they got it back.
Stay strong!
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sunbrooke Mar 2019
Thanks!
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Three words for you ~ elder law attorney!
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By the way the proof is in the pudding! You need to show in court any proof you have of the things you have done for your parent. Have family friends who know you to write letters to the court in your favor.The courts will appoint the person doing the best job.
Since you have been an amazing advocate and POA for your parent that will prevail! You know your parent the best. And it sounds like your siblings could care less from afar. Stay positive get your power back! You are empowered! Stay focused centered and true to yourself! Keep going! There are resources in your state to help you. Office of the healthcare advocate.
Medicare advocacy.
There are lawyers out there that might need to do some pro bono work.
Check with your local law universities.
Stay strong! You got this!
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sunbrooke Mar 2019
Thanks so much, Sunshine, I feel the positive energy! <3
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I know its hard but your parent needs you. One avenue is that you become his sole custodian meaning you go to court and you get to say where he goes and how he spends his money which will eliminate their rights as a POA. I would sue them as well in the US for fraud and emotional distress knowing they have no legal rights. Also, which I had to do so I am coming from experience here, shut off all communication from them and just talk to your attorney. Reach out to Legal Aid to reduce the costs and make sure as you are his sole POA and custodial caregiver and beneficiary to his estate so you can recoup some money to re-establish yourself. All these vipers want is money not the care of your parent so you have to hang in there for your parent and fight for his rights to be taking care of properly. I am so sorry you are going through this but I had to do the same things I am asking you to consider. Good luck to you and your parent!!!
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Lots of love to you Sunbrooke! It's good for caregivers to support each other! I am in a mess with my parent right now. No preplanning and no insurance to cover long term care. Oy vey!
There's days I want to throw in the towel.
Have to keep going and never quit.
Humor helps : )
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sunbrooke Mar 2019
Thanks, Sunshine, I feel you! Sending hugs your way. xx
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Starting a counter action is probably quite good advice. People act differently if they feel they have something to lose. At present, these half siblings think that if they aren't successful they have lost nothing, and who knows? they might win the lottery. Maryjann is right that it will cost you money and you might not get it back. However for you, stopping the whole thing is winning the lottery for you. Talk to your lawyer about it.
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